Life Among the Colorado Wildfires

Here in Colorado we have wildfires burning all over the state. Last count I heard, there are 12 (count’em, TWELVE!) raging on. There’s a lot of beetle kill on the mountains surrounding Ouray, where we live, and our land adjoins the actual forest. The entire town of Ouray happens to be inside the Uncompaghre National Forest, so as you can imagine, times are a little bit scary right now. The closest fire to us is 13 miles east of Ridgway, which is ten miles north of Ouray. But someone involved in Emergency Management mentioned that there’s a good sized mountain in between the West Fork fire and the town of Ridgway, even though it’s close as the crow flies. That was actually good to hear. There’s also a horrible fire raging about 70 miles south, which is up and over the mountains and the Continental Divide from here.

In the winter, people tell me how much they would hate all of our snow, but we love it and would certainly trade for it today or even welcome the annual monsoon rains. You couldn’t possibly live in Colorado, if you didn’t love the snow. And at this point in time, I’m thinking that after 32 years, we have truly become winter people here in these gorgeous mountains. Life is a little quieter and slower in the winter, but it’s also very beautiful and nobody lingers indoors. We’re out there enjoying winter sports or just tending to life as it normally is here when it snows. Nothing is prettier than Colorado at Christmas.

This year, things are especially thick and lush and we are going to have to do some fire mitigation, just to be on the safe side. I hate to cut down such beautiful trees and shrubs, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It appears that no matter where you live, there is some natural disaster that you have to contend with, so it’s difficult to choose one over the other when it comes right down to it. It’s all God’s country and it’s all beautiful in its own way.


About jtzortman

Author of "WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW" - A Grandparent's Journey Through Grief, first place award winning novel "FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST" and award-winning novel "SNOW ANGEL". Contributing author to anthologies "Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides", "American Blue", "Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook" and "The Centennial Book of The National Society of Daughters of the Union 1861-1865". Numerous articles, poems and short stories published since 1990. Charter Member of the Public Safety Writers Association and member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Winner of ten writing awards. I live in a quaint Colorado mountain tourist town with my husband and Siamese cat. When deeps snows blanket the terrain and spectacular views from my windows, it becomes the perfect spot in which to write.
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8 Responses to Life Among the Colorado Wildfires

  1. Debbie Cooper says:

    Jackie…Love your blogs….I really wish more people were still blogging…LOL….I loved it when I would do it several times a week…You could just write what is on your mind for that day and share it with everyone…..Keep it up and hope that your book is still doing good…….Love ya


  2. marilynm says:

    Fires are scary. We have them around where I live too. So far this year, no big ones. Of course in California there are earthquakes–and no one knows when they will happen. Where I live now, we don’t feel many. When I lived on the coast, we had a lot.
    Keep safe!


    • jtzortman says:

      I am glad we don’t have to deal with both fires and earthquakes, Marilyn, but there was a small one in Ridgway not long ago. However, to my knowledge, that’s unusual here. Of course, the tornado at DIA is also unusual, so it appears that anything goes with natural occurences these days, no matter where you are.


  3. Christy says:

    I’m a winter person, too, Jackie, as you know. I think I would love your Colorado winters! Yesterday was the first day of summer and I’ve already about had enough of it. 🙂 Stay safe!


    • jtzortman says:

      It’s hot here today, too, Christy. Our house is unintentionally solar and is well insulated, so holds the heat. Thank the Lord that it cools down in Colorado when the sun goes down.


  4. Mona Bain says:

    our prays are with you all, hope you keep that bad a bay. Be safe


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